Dr. Paul Larson is Professor and Vice Chair of Neurological Surgery at the University of California San Francisco, Chief of Neurosurgery at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and Surgical Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center. He specializes in functional neurosurgery, specifically deep brain stimulation for movement disorders and MR-guided procedures. The Surgical Movement Disorders program at UCSF and the SFVA is one of the largest and most active centers in the world.
Dr. Larson’s research program is built around three core areas of interest. He has 20 years of experience in interventional MRI-guided surgery, and was one of three researchers at UCSF that started and developed the field of iMRI-guided stereotactic surgery for DBS placement and drug delivery. He has had continuous funding for device development and clinical trials in interventional MRI procedures since 2003. Secondly, his group at UCSF has been at the forefront of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. They have had a leadership role in 4 of the 7 human trials completed worldwide to date, and have performed more than 1/3 of all Parkinson’s gene therapy procedures ever performed. He is currently the PI for a fifth gene therapy trial using convection enhanced, iMRI-guided delivery of AAV2-AADC into the putamen of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, Dr. Larson has a significant interest in the neurobiology and underlying brain circuitry of phantom auditory disorders including tinnitus. His work in this area with Dr. Steven Cheung has led to the discovery of a new region of brain involved in auditory perception, as well as a new proposed model of the basal ganglia for chronic tinnitus. They have a U01 grant from the NIDCD to study the use of DBS in the caudate nucleus in patients with severe, medically refractory tinnitus.